On Life and Words
I have been thinking a lot about words lately. In a day and age where everyone is free to voice their opinion (good and bad) to a global community, there are a lot of words out there. We are bombarded by them every day.
And words are not spoken without consequences. What you say matters.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21
We were created by a God who spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1). Jesus upholds it by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). His words are creative. They call things into being and sustains them. His words are life and truth. They define reality. They will endure forever.
As humans, we are given limited creative power with our words. They have the power to build up and tear down; they divide and unite. We use our mouths to bring blessing and cursing. Our tongues are a "restless evil, full of deadly poison". They have the power to affect the entire course of our lives (James 3:6-10).
So what kind of words are we speaking?
Our words communicate our heart, the guts of what's rolling around inside us. Whatever that is, it's going to come out of our mouths at some point (Luke 6:43-45), no matter how hard we may try to keep it covered. If we are full of anger, bitterness, resentment, and hurt, it will shape our speech. The same can be said for a heart that's full of love, peace, hope, and faith. I want to hear those words, and I want to speak them. But to work on our speech, we must first work on our heart.
The Bible is the litmus test for our speech. We live in a world filled with lies and angry accusations, but the Bible is a stronghold of truth. We test what others say, even as we test our own hearts. The creative abilities that God has given our words should be used to glorify Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God (John 1:1-18).
So let's be gracious with our words.
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
God has given us a voice to be used, so let's strive together to speak with kindness. Let's speak the truth in love, and extend much needed grace to our hearers.
And here's something radical-let's bless the people we bump up against. End the cycle of word-retaliation and let God produce life in us instead. Because this is what God is calling us to, and it s a holy work.